Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Announces Impressive Lineup for 2023 Big E Fair
September 11, 2023
For more information contact: Jim Britt at: Jim.Britt@maine.gov
Augusta, ME - The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) announced an assembly of 20 Maine-owned businesses and organizations confirmed for the historic Maine Building at the 2023 Eastern States Exposition, "The Big E." The Big E is the only multi-state fair in the country and, since 1917, has exemplified a tradition of showcasing agricultural producers, artisans, and culinary artisans. The Maine building on the "Avenue of States," alongside pavilions representing Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, is the centerpiece of the Big E fair experience, attracting 1.6 million visitors in 2022, promoting economic growth through tourism while delivering the welcoming hospitality that defines Maine. The 2023 Big E fair is scheduled for September 15 to October 1.
2023 Maine Building Exhibitors
- Batch by Scratch All Natural Ice Cream - Augusta
- Dailey Woodworking and Friends Carthage
- Doles Orchard Box Shop Limington
- Maine Aquaculture Association Gardiner
- Maine Craft Cider and Beer - Portland
- Maine Lobster Rolls - Harpswell
- Maine Office of Tourism - Augusta
- Maine Potato Board - Presque Isle
- Maine Wines/eighteentwenty wines Portland
- MARTINI Jewels Biddeford
- Meet on the Street Portland
- Pineland Farms Cheese - Bangor
- Pussums Cat Company - Turner
- Sunshine Apothecary Newport
- The Good Crust - Canaan
- Tree of Life Maple Farm - Dennistown
- Tripp's Farmhouse Caf - Auburn
- Valley View Orchard Pies - Oxford
- Winter Whimsies - Scarborough
- Woodfired Pizza Portland
"If you live in Maine, you already know that Maine produces some of the best food on the planet," said Craig Lapine, Director, Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources. "The Maine Building at the Big E lets us show that off to the rest of the Northeast."
"The Big E's Maine Building is an important opportunity for people from throughout New England and beyond to experience, enjoy, and buy Maine agricultural products from delicious Maine food and beverages to quality artisan craft," said Michelle Webb, Division Director, Agricultural Resource Development. "Visiting the Maine Building at the Big E Fair also provides a wonderful opportunity to meet some of Maines great producers and makers."
"Exhibiting at the Big E is a unique opportunity for our staff to directly engage with thousands of people interested in travel to Maine and to share information about the diverse visitor experiences our state offers," said Steve Lyons, Director, Maine Office of Tourism. "Food tourism is a growing trend, so the tourism booths location in the Maine building in company with providers of some of Maines iconic products is a perfect pairing."
"Be sure to visit the Maine Building at the Big E. It showcases the richness and diversity of Maine's agriculture and natural resources," said Jon Olson, Maine Big E Trustee. "There's always much to see and experience, and always delicious food. The Maine baked potato is my favorite."
"The Good Crust is thrilled to be selling artisan garlic bread this year in the Maine Building at The Big E. Currently, we serve our dough-crafted from 100% Maine Grainsto more than 160 happy customers, primarily located in Maine," said Heather Kerner, Founder and CEO of the The Good Crust. "Participating in The Big E represents the most significant opportunity we've had yet to connect with new customers and forge fresh relationships. This milestone wouldn't have been possible without the incredible support from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry. We owe them a tremendous thank you for their efforts and for welcoming us on board this coming September."
"Our family is looking forward to going back to exhibit for a third time in the Maine Building. The Big E is such an amazing event, and we enjoy encountering and sharing our products with so many people from not only New England, but also all over the country," said Jim Babiarz, owner of Tree of Life Maple Farm. "The flow and the pace of the patrons is exciting, and while it takes us away from home for a while, the atmosphere of the Maine Building brings some needed relief it really has a "local" Maine atmosphere to it, and we feel thankful and blessed to be a part of it."
Maine Day at the Big E
Maine Day at the Big E, celebrated Saturday, September 16, begins at the Maine Building at 9:45 AM with vendors, trustees, ambassadors and officials, including Maine Gov. Janet Mills, welcoming guests. A Maine Day Opening Ceremony is set for 9:45 on the building's front lawn. At 10 AM, the Maine Building opens its doors with a ribbon cutting, and visitors can shop and experience some of Maine's best products and brands. While Maine Day activities are staged on the front lawn, shopping continues throughout the day.
Maine Day Musts at the Maine Building, Starting at 10 AM:
- Maine Forest Rangers, with Smokey Bear
- Maine trivia at 11 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM
- The Maine Day "Big E Parade" in front of the Maine Building at 6 PM
Perennial favorites will be on sale in the Maine Building on Maine Day and throughout the 17 days of Big E, including massive stuffed Maine baked potatoes, wild blueberry products, lobster rolls piled high, whoopie pies, and pure Maine maple products. The Maine Building will also feature food trucks and homemade ice cream. A sought-after crowd favorite found only at the Maine Building is smoked salmon on a stick. Visitors and shoppers also arrive at the Maine Building in search of Maine craft cider, beer, and wines. Artisans and makers of items such as hand-carved wood items, jewelry, and skincare products will also be featured.
Use DACF's interactive Maine Building map to view the full list of full- and short-term confirmed exhibitors in and outside the building.
The Big E also boasts multi-state agricultural demonstrations and competitions, educational displays, and daily events like working sheepdog demonstrations and equestrian shows. Maine 4-H and FFA students have earned awards for academic and skills competitions in recent years. Big E's agricultural plans for 2023 are available online.
Attend the Big E
Big E gates open at 8 AM, from September 15 to October 1, 2023. Avenue of States hours are 10 AM to 9 PM daily. Check the website for full details. Directions, parking, and ticket details are available online. Ticket prices range from $12 to $70, with children 5 and under free.